Richard Miller Obituary (1939 – 2022) – Gainesville, FL

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Richard Graydon Miller
October 12, 1939 – February 1, 2022
Gainesville, Florida – Richard (Rich) Miller passed away peacefully at home on February 1, 2022 from complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Rich was born in Huntington, IN to Lelia Steele and W. Graydon Miller on October 12, 1939, the youngest of four children and the only boy. Rich grew up in Oxford, IN. He graduated from Oxford High School and attended the University of Michigan before transferring to the new Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College) as its first founding student.
Rich received his MBA from Northwestern University and began a 50-year career in nonprofit fundraising at the University of Miami. Committed to supporting education and the arts, he later served as development director at the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art), Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL. Rich had a solid consulting career at Shaver and Co, and as a principal of Richard G. Miller & Associates and Miller, Calhoun & Co. He was notably principal consultant for the reconstruction of the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts after a devastating fire. almost destroyed it. He was the first director of development at the Miami Art Museum (formerly Dade County, Florida, Center for the Fine Arts). He retired as vice president of development at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.
Rich was a lifelong Presbyterian who served the church as a teacher, deacon, elder, and treasurer. He has donated his time to youth programs and coached young players in basketball, baseball and softball. He has mentored promising fundraisers and served on numerous volunteer boards. He was president of the Eckerd College Alumni Association for two years and a founding member of the Eckerd College Athletic Alumni Association. A college athlete, Rich studied basketball, baseball, golf and track and field in college and was the first recipient of the EW Smith Memorial Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Athletics.
Rich met his 56-year-old wife, Beth Miller, née Marshall, at Florida Presbyterian College. They married in 1965 and had four children. In addition to his wife, he is survived by their son, Bill and his wife, Deborah Drum; their daughters Ann McElwain; Coy and her husband, Ian Decker; and Stacey Rutledge and her husband, Rick Wichmann. Rich leaves behind six grandchildren: Ruby and Graydon Miller; James and Zoe McElwain, and William and Shannon Wichmann. He was predeceased by his parents and two older sisters, Marilyn Young and Nancy McVicar. He is survived by his sister Barbara Rohm of Charlotte, North Carolina, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rich has been called “the real deal”, “mensch” and “the most ethical person I know” by friends and colleagues. He had a keen sense of humor and a knack for making others the center of attention. Beth and Rich retired to Gainesville, Florida in 2012 where, as members of the Gainesville Country Club, they enjoyed meeting new friends, socializing over dinner and Trivia Night. Rich enjoyed many golf outings with his buddies. He loved his family, his church, playing golf and bridge, solving puzzles and watching football. He had a larger than life personality, making friends wherever he went. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
If you wish to honor his memory, the family encourages you to make a donation to the educational institution of your choice or contribute to the Miller Family Endowed Scholarship for Athletics at Eckerd College. Online donations: https://www.eckerd.edu/giving; A celebration of his life is planned for the summer of 2022. Due to Covid restrictions there will be no public service at this time.

Published by the Miami Herald on February 13, 2022.

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